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There could be as many as 30 differing ‘styles’ of Reiki. At the last count, whilst working with the Reiki Regulatory Working Group, 23 were known to the RRWG. This is when it becomes very confusing for anyone knowing very little about Reiki trying to find out the ‘best’ one for them as a client or a student. Because of Reiki's ability to work individually at many levels then ‘changes’ can be made to the original form. Some people call theirs ‘Crystal Reiki’, others ‘Angel Reiki’ or ‘Rainbow Reiki’ as examples. I personally prefer to work as closely as possible with the original form and by continuously doing so over the years I don't feel I need to ‘add’ anything else to it, because regularly practised it becomes stronger and deeper. I've listed below the 3 methods originating from Mikao Usui as a brief guide to how they differ but are very similar, and it is from these 3 ‘styles’ that all others have developed.

Usui Reiki Ryoho or Reiho (Usui Spiritual Energy Healing Method)
Generally accepted as the Reiki form used later on in Usui's teachings, learnt by Mrs Takata, the American/Japanese woman who brought Reiki to the West after studying in Japan with Doctor Hayashi, one of Usui's students. It is shown in the form of the old Japanese kanji used by Mikao Usui (for the words Rei Ki) that I've used on this site. I prefer to use this as it holds a much deeper meaning than the new Japanese kanji now commonly seen and seems to have been the Usui/Takata form used by Dr Hayashi and Mikao Usui. To me it also honours Usui in a deeply respectful way.

Usui Shiki Ryoho (Usui Style Healing Method)
Some Reiki organisations refer to this as the original Western method, by simplifying Usui Reiki Ryoho and passed on by Mrs Takata and Dr Hayashi. It's the form known by many in the West as the ‘original’ teaching and practising method. This ‘new’ Japanese kanji is the one most people use to depict Reiki. It's believed to have evolved from the old Japanese version after Mrs Takata/Dr Hayashi developed the newer and simpler form of Reiki known today as Western Reiki when she returned to Hawaii.

Usui Teate/Usui Do (Usui Palm Healing Method/Usui's Way)
Taught by Usui as ‘The Method to Achieve Personal Perfection’. - what Usui taught all his students as a means to developing one's own spiritual path. It was only in the last stages of Usui's life that he simplified his original teachings and named them Reiki, which enabled them to be learnt more quickly and used to help heal sick people in particular the Japanese troops travelling back on ships waiting for treatment. (The Emperor of Japan asked Usui to help with the injured soldiers in World War II). It was also at this time he developed the symbols used today in attunements. Teate, learnt and practised by Usui's students over a long period of time, did not include symbols in order to ‘open’ someone to channel Reiki. Instead he would give his students a Reiju (empowerment or blessing) every time they met.
I was taught Usui Shiki Ryoho, because at the time, before new information direct from Japan was being made available, it was believed that was Usui's original method, and my Reiki Master at that time also had been told and shown that method. It wasn't until I had taken my second level and was preparing for my Master Level that I found out about ‘Tibetan’ Reiki which used additional symbols. I then started to question the ‘Western’ Style I was being taught as from the very beginning of my study it was important to me to be learning what had been passed down by Usui. I carried on with my learning and took my Master/Teaching level, but then started exploring and studying elements of the other methods with another Reiki Master. This is why I now practise and teach Usui Shiki Ryoho, but with additional Japanese methods. The ‘kanji’ on this page is the way Mikao Usui originally drew it to symbolise the deeper meaning of Reiki.